Trump Apparently Misses Deadline to Testify in Rape Trial

May 7, 2023

Former President Trump appeared to have missed a deadline Sunday to testify in a sexual assault and defamation lawsuit brought against him by a New York City writer.

Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, who’s overseeing the case in Manhattan, had given Trump until 5pm ET Sunday to change his mind about testifying.

E. Jean Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, filed suit against former President Trump for battery under New York State’s Adult Suvivor’s Act on the same day the legislation went into effect—Thanksgiving day.

She has asserted that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s. 

Carroll already had a pending lawsuit against Trump for defamation, saying his public denials and disparaging comments have damaged her reputation. She is seeking unspecified damages in her battery lawsuit, asserting that Trump caused her lasting psychological harm.

Trump has called her allegations “a con job,” a “hoax” and a “lie,” as well as “a complete scam,” which he maintains aren’t defamatory comments and are the truth.

Both sides had rested their cases last week without the defense calling any witnesses. Trump spent the majority of the rape trial golfing at his clubs in Ireland and Scotland.

On Thursday Trump told reporters overseas that he might have to fly back early to the U.S. to “confront” Carroll, whom he called a “disgrace,” as well as Judge Kaplan, whom he called “extremely hostile.”

However, Trump attorney Joseph Tacopina repeatedly denied that same day that Trump would testify. “I know you understand what I am dealing with,” Tacopina reportedly said to the judge during a sidebar on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, the plaintiff’s attorneys did enter into evidence a video of a deposition undertaken by Trump in October at his Florida country club residence, Mar-a-Lago (see photo).

Carroll’s attorneys publicly released video during which Carroll attorney Roberta Kaplan asked Trump about the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape from 2005 in which Trump can be heard saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” adding, “Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”

“Well, historically that’s true with stars,” Trump replied in the deposition after watching a clip of his comments.

When Ms. Kaplan pressed him about whether he stood by the statement that a star could “grab them by the p***y,” Trump replied, “Well, I guess if you look over the last million years, that’s been largely true—not always true, but largely true, unfortunately or fortunately.”

When Ms. Kaplan further questioned, “And you consider yourself to be a star?” Trump responded, “I think so, yeah.”

Ahead of the trial Judge Kaplan rejected Trump’s bid to exclude the “Access Hollywood” video.

He also rejected a request from Trump attorneys for a one-month “cooling off” period following Trump’s arraignment April 4 on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush money paid to at least two women ahead of the 2016 Presidential election. That hearing took place just a few blocks from where the rape trial is occurring. 

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